A Nanaimo woman was scammed out of $6,000 by a man claiming to be her grandson, say police.
Nanaimo RCMP issued a press release warning of the latest case of the “grandson scam,” which happened Dec. 4. A woman in her 70s received a phone call from a man claiming to be her grandson and telling her he had been in an accident in Quebec, had been taken to jail, and needed bail money. He asked her not to tell his parents.
“Sure enough, she made her way to a local chartered bank to withdraw the money. Even after being told by a cashier at the bank that it appeared she was being scammed, she carried on and sent the money,” noted RCMP.
Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the scam is just one example of many “that can have a financial and emotional impact.”
RCMP took the opportunity to offer tips to the public, warning them that scammers try to tug at victims’ heartstrings.
“Before making any financial commitments, ask the caller several personal questions that only your real grandson would know,” the press release noted. “Even then, get a call-back number and tell a trusted friend or family member what is taking place.”
RCMP say scammers may also contact victims asking for donations to local charities and for causes related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The charity may not even exist or the scammer may not even be associated to it. To avoid this, ask for information in writing to confirm the charity,” police suggest.
Members of the public can find out information about registered non-profit charities by calling the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-267-2384 or online at www.canada.ca/en/services/taxes/charities.html.
Those receiving threatening phone calls about their social insurance numbers being compromised or regarding unpaid taxes should “simply hang up,” RCMP recommend, though those wishing to report the incidents can call 1-888-495-8501 or visit www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/report-signalez-eng.htm.
Scam victims who have lost money or who were tricked into providing confidential information can call the Nanaimo RCMP’s non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.